Les Cowboys full movie review - Wild West Frenchmen, Runaway Daughter, Long, Hard Chase
A passel of good old boys and girls wrapped in American flags, sheriff's badges and denim are they're doing what comes naturally: hoe-downin' and boot-stompin' and a-signin' sappy hurtin' songs.
Then it hits you: they're actually wearing not ten-gallon hats but 38- liter Stetsons because they're all French. Yup, pardner, there's a subset of Frenchmen that is besotted with the Old West (as are Germans with American Indians), and we are delighting in this charming foolishness when it's suddenly clear that Alain's daughter is missing. Alain and his wife are subsequently astounded to learn that she has dropped all her old friends, taken on serious boyfriend, that he's a Muslim, and that he and she have utterly disappeared. Alain's hunt for her becomes increasingly obsessive, violent and dangerous as he is duped or cheated by various Muslim contacts, more or less ignored by the authorities, and frustrated and humiliated at every turn. Save for an enigmatic visit from a fonctionnaire identified only as a government minister from 'the ministry,' everything hangs together; the story is mesmerizing and fraught with tensions. Then circumstances require that Alain's son, Texanly named Kid, take over the hunt. Here begins a series of high- risk scenes and episodes that are equally mesmerizing but devoid of logic or even the remotest likelihood. These are nevertheless convincing in and of themselves, but if you require logic and likelihood, too bad. For example (spoiler!): early on Kid is out of the blue working for an NGO in Somewherestan, where he falls for a fellow do-gooder but leaves her like that on meeting a shabby and dubious American freelance 'fixer' (fabulous John C. Reilly) who's going on horseback with $800,000 in gold to ransom two guys from the Taliban and doesn't trust his creepy local guides and so he gets Kid to ride along as bodyguard by telling him he knows where the sister is and that Kid can get her back. If that won't work for you, beware: things are about to get a lot worse. This didn't bother me; I just rolled with it. But a companion hated every minute and also detected a flash of incest re father and daughter, sparked by their awkward dance at the hoedown and the theme song, 'Tennessee Waltz.' If so, that, like the sudden burst of anti-Muslim sentiment late in the show, is a toss-in that goes nowhere. As for the climax, it's enigmatic and non- credible. Proceed at your own risk.